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A spirit that is not afraid

Bayou Bengals return to the Plains

Senior running back Mario Fannin pushes through Arkansas' defense during Saturday's win. (Emily Adams / Photo Editor)
Senior running back Mario Fannin pushes through Arkansas' defense during Saturday's win. (Emily Adams / Photo Editor)

An improved secondary and fewer penalties are what it's going to take to take down LSU.

The Bayou Bengals of LSU visit Jordan-Hare Stadium Saturday, entering as the only other undefeated SEC school. Defensive coordinator Ted Roof cited LSU's offensive versatility after Auburn's 65-43 victory over Arkansas.

"They are a very talented team," Roof said. "You can't really sink your teeth into one aspect of their offense and just focus on that because they do so many things well. They run the ball very well, and they have very talented receivers."

Auburn gave up 428 passing yards Saturday and ranks 108th nationally in pass defense.

However, the defense's forcing of three turnovers resulted in three Auburn touchdowns.

"You note the positives, which there were some," said head coach Gene Chizik. "You note the negatives, which there were many, and proceed to move on."

LSU coach Les Miles' strategy is to continue rotating quarterbacks Jarrett Lee and Jordan Jefferson.

His preparation for Auburn, however, has become standard among SEC coaches: containing junior quarterback Cam Newton.

"If we had a guy like Cam Newton, he might be our third quarterback," Miles said. "I don't know who we have to demonstrate the skills that he has. He runs hard. He gives a blow like a fullback. He's elusive like a tailback, and he has a great touch on the ball. He's one of a kind."

And with LSU's defensive rankings, the Auburn offense may have something to worry about. The Bayou Bengals rank No. 3 nationally in total defense and No. 11 in scoring defense.

"They're just very talented," Chizik said. "I think they just kind of took off from where they left off last year. They're extremely good and very talented defensively."

Despite Newton's performance, which includes 860 total rushing yards on the season, senior wide receiver Kodi Burns thinks the offense can still improve its performance against LSU by eliminating penalties.

"We need to work on eliminating stupid penalties," Burns said. "Every time we get in the red zone, we need to get six instead of kicking field goals."

Auburn vs. LSU kicks off Saturday at 2:30 p.m. and will be televised on CBS.

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